Gluten Free and Dairy Free Millionaire Shortbread

12th May 2020
Blog post

MY GLUTEN FREE AND DAIRY FREE MILLIONAIRE SHORTBREAD IS FINALLY HERE!!! A creamy & buttery and ever so slightly crumbly shortbread, topped with a deliciously rich, firm caramel and then your absolute fav chocolate. Yum, yum yum.

I am so so so so excited to bring this to you. Its taken a while. Mainly because my first few recipes didn’t produce reliable results so there’s no wayyyy I’d share them with you. But now I’ve perfected a recipe that works every time, only uses basic ingredients and its DELICIOUS.

gluten and dairy free millionaire shortbread
Gluten Free and Dairy Free Millionaire Shortbread

Dairy Free?

The hard bit of creating this recipe was the “dairy free” bit. Why? Millionaire Shortbread recipes call for condensed milk which obviously contains dairy so we need a dairy free/vegan version.

You can buy a “vegan condensed milk” but (1) its not cheap, (2) its not easy to get hold of and (3) it can’t be used 1:1 with regular condensed milk as it produces a caramel that is faaarrrr too runny to work in a millionaire.

As a result, I’ve worked out a way to make my own. Its honestly very easy – its just sugar and LIGHT coconut milk (the kind you get in a can in the asian section of a supermarket, not milk carton). And I have to say, it doesn’t make the millionaire taste of coconut – odd, but true. Promise!

Make sure you follow these tips in order to get it right:

(a) Consistency you’re looking for: you must let it cool to room temperature to check its consistency (it thickens as it cools). Once cool, it should be super duper thick – like the consistency of wall paper paste. If you run a spoon through it, it should take a good few seconds to fall back together.

Here’s a quick video to try and demonstrate what you’re looking for! The first bowl I show you is way too thin. Second is perfect 🙂

(b) Don’t try to use it if its too runny. It will be very hard to peel the baking paper/foil away from your millionaire (like the first pic). Also, if you do manage to peel of the paper, as the caramel warms up from the fridge to room temperature, it will make a complete mess and run everywhere (like the second pic)

(c) If you’ve cooled it to room temperature and realised its too thin, it’s easy to make it thicker – just simmer it again to boil off some of the water and thicken it up (I’ve written how to do this in the recipe below).

(d) Do not use full fat coconut milk. It won’t set. Don’t ask me why, but one of the reasons I found my recipe was so unreliable to start with was because I was accidentally using low fat and full fat coconut milk interchangeably. Even after I realised my mistake, I thought you could just boil the low fat one for longer to get rid of more water but nope. Turns out they work completely different. If you use full fat coconut milk, you’ll get something like the picture above. You need low fat/light coconut milk!!!!

Not Dairy Free?

Well you lucky things, you can just skip the first section of the recipe (where I make “vegan condensed milk”).

Then, in the “Caramel” section of the recipe, when I talk about condensed milk, just use your regular stuff from a can. Carnation is a really good brand for this.


I’d really recommend you have a quick of this prior to making my gluten free millionaires!

  1. Flour – you can actually use self-raising or plain. Self-raising is my preference but doesn’t make a huge amount of difference.
  2. Stork Block of Butter – wouldn’t recommend anything else!!!!
    • Comes in a 250g foil block, NOT a tub – see pic below.
    • Costs about 80p. Sometimes comes in prettier packaging (it’s yellow with pink spots at the moment!!) but always says “biscuits and pastry” on the front.
    • It’s naturally dairy free too!!
    • Here’s a link to the product in Tesco, so you can see what I mean!
  3. Caster Sugar – haven’t tried to swap this but would guess white granulated sugar would be fine too. Maybe even golden caster sugar – it might just result in a browner shortbread
  4. LIGHT/LOW FAT Coconut milk if you’re dairy free (the kind you get in a can in the Asian section of a supermarket, NOT in a carton) or Condensed Milk if you’re not
  5. Chocolate of your choice
  6. Spread – I use Flora Dairy Free but any spread will be fine
  7. Dark Brown Soft Sugar – best for caramel. Wouldn’t substitute.
  8. Vanilla – Optional
Gluten Free and Dairy Free Millionaire Shortbread

Accidentally made runny caramel?

If you’re condensed milk is right, when you make your millionaire it will peel away from the baking paper/foil very easily. If this isn’t the case for you, don’t panic!!! As long as you can peel your millionaire away from the paper/foil, you can make Twix bars!!!

  1. Put the whole millionaire in the freezer to make the caramel as firm as possible. It’ll be easier to remove the paper/foil after its frozen too.
  2. Remove from the freezer and slice into bars. Do this quickly so the caramel hasn’t got chance to start melting!!
  3. Dunk the entire bar in chocolate and quickly put them in the freezer for the chocolate to set. If you haven’t got enough chocolate for that, just make sure the caramel part is covered (you want the chocolate to creates a shell around the caramel and stop it running everywhere at room temperature!).

One last thing…

I know this recipe looks REAALLLYYY LONG. That’s only because I’ve included tons of tips in italics. I’ve made just about every mistake along the way so I know all the places you could go even slightly wrong & I’ve written ways to avoid it. Follow this recipe and I’m sure you’ll nail it 🙂 Let me know what you think!!

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Millionaire Shortbread

This creates 6 large rectangular pieces of millionaire shortbread, in a 1lb loaf tin (approx 25 x 13.5 x 9cm). You can easily scale this recipe up if you’d like to use a bigger tin!
Prep Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, english
Keyword: gluten free baking, gluten free millionaires


  • 85-100 grams chocolate of your choice

Shortbread – info about the ingredients in the blog post

  • 90 grams Stork block
  • 140 grams gluten free self-raising flour - can also use plain if that's what you've got in the cupboard
  • 45 grams caster sugar


  • 70 grams dark brown soft sugar
  • 70 grams spread - I use Flora Dairy Free Spread (or regular spread if you're not dairy free)

Vegan Condensed Milk *use this if you're dairy free*

  • 1 can LOW FAT coconut milk - FULL FAT WILL NOT WORK!! from a can in the asian section of a supermarket, not a carton that you'd drink
  • 150 grams caster sugar

*OR use this if you're not dairy free*

  • 200 grams Carnation Condensed Milk


If you're dairy free, follow the steps below to make your own condensed milk. If not, move to "Shortbread".

  • Add the coconut milk and 150g caster sugar to a pan.
  • Heat the pan on a LOW temperature, stirring frequently until the sugar has melted
    >How to tell if the sugar has melted: stir the mix, if you can't feel the grains in the milk and there's none on your spoon when you remove it from the pan, its melted! Takes 5 mins.
  • Bring to a controlled simmer, at the MEDIUM temperature.
    >By "controlled simmer", I mean the whole pan is lightly bubbling but the bubbles arent so aggressive that its getting hotter and hotter and starting to boil over.
  • Once its got to a simmer, set a timer for 35 mins. Remove your spoon and do not stir it anymore.
    >If you stir it, it can crystallise and cause all sorts of problems so leave it alone!!!
    >Check on it every 10 mins or so, to make sure its still a controlled simmer. Don't panic if its started boiling or isn't simmering anymore, just adjust the temperature accordingly.
    >What to expect: During that time, tt'll get paler and more see through, like the pic. Eventually itll look very thick and sticky. Once its at that stage, its done!!
  • After the 35 mins is up, turn off the heat and leave the milk to cool to room temperature in the pan so you can check it has reached the right consistency.
    > A MUST: read my notes in the blog post above for in the section"Dairy Free?" to find out what 'the right consistency' is. This bit is the most important part of the whole entire recipe so make sure you read it!!!
    >If its too runny, turn the heat on to low. Slowly increase the heat, bringing it back up to a simmer and leave for another 3-5mins. Turn off the heat and check the consistency again.
  • Set aside


  • Cream the butter & sugar until smooth and fluffy
    >I mix with an electric hand whisk for about 1 min. You could also use a wooden spoon but you'll have to really go for it!!
  • Sift in the flour & mix together until JUST combined. I use an electric whisk for this. Could easily use a wooden spoon here.
    >Don't worry if you haven't got a sieve – just tip it in
    >"JUST combined" is when you cant see any more white from the flour and its just starting to clump together, like the picture.
  • Use your hands to press the mix together into a few balls in the bowl. It will be crumbly but that's no problem!
  • Line your tin with baking paper/foil. Place the shortbread mix into the bottom. Push it down with your hands, so its roughly even.
  • Use the back of a spoon to level it out properly!
  • Ideally, place the tin of shortbread mix into the fridge for at least 30 mins before moving onto the next step
    >This firms up the butter and intensifies the flavour.
  • Place into a pre-heated oven for 18mins at 175oC, or until the edges are just browning.
    >If you're making a bigger millionaire, you might need to increase the cooking time. Just watch for those browning edges!
    >Also, if you're oven isnt the best (like mine), after 10 mins, turn the tin round to cook it more evenly.
  • Remove and leave to cool whilst you move onto the next step…


  • Add the brown sugar and spread to a pan. Melt on a low temp, stirring constantly until all the sugar has dissolved.
    >Don't rush this step – make sure the sugar is full dissolved (same test as the vegan condensed milk above. If not, you'll end up with a grainy millionaire.
  • Add a little bit of the condensed milk and stir until fully mixed in. Add more, mix in. Repeat until all of your condensed milk is incorporated
    >If you made your condensed milk in advance, do this in lots of steps! This is because of the difference in temperature of the cold milk and the warm sugar/butter. It will cease up if you try to go too quickly!!
  • Bring to a boil for 30 seconds.
  • Pour the mix straight onto the shortbread. Place into the fridge to cool.
    >You might think it looks quite light at this stage, but don't worry it lightens as it cools.
  • Once its firm to the touch, melt your chocolate over a bain-maire and pour over the caramel.
  • Place in the fridge to set.
Print Recipe

*They freeze really well.

How to cut your shortbread neatly

  • Boil your kettle.
  • Pour into a large jug/glass.
  • Place the sharpest knife you have into the water.
  • Leave for 30 secs for the knife to warm up.
  • Now cut!! Verrryyy slowly and carefully.
  • After you’ve made one cut, place the knife back into the boiling water to heat up again. 

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